Spotlight series #96: Monica Mody

rob mclennan
2 min readApr 1, 2024

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.


A poem carries its intimation, even when it arrives lanky and unabashed. I am curious how the language our ears divine interacts with the beauty and knowing building within us, as we learn — about heartache and life, avoiding and easing — and, particularly, how the knowing makes the poem canny and repatterns it — like tree rings.

sticks & stones

to go where cave dwellers stretch their fingers —
mark skies black, anoint from wounds of ooze

words unfurl like chalk dust, mar painted on tongue

middlemen steal a ride, hooves — fervid — hover
yon space & croon, they dance — dance
their way into the night

where eyes move, not a moment too soon
shadow passes shadow, rue blinds
right as wrong as right
words loop across sense, pullulate

then dervish stance opening
tumble w/ light

accept, radically

remapping territories w/ love
organ of miracles

love winds itself
up & down, details
of distraction swim away

Monica Mody is a poet, scholar, and educator, and the author of Wild Fin (Weavers Press, 2024), Bright Parallel (Copper Coin, 2023), and Kala Pani (1913 Press, 2013). Her writing has won awards including the Sparks Prize (Notre Dame), the Zora Neale Hurston Award (Naropa), and the TOTO Award for Creative Writing. More at